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2022 Is a Year to Call Out Greenwashing in China

President Xi Jinping’s drive for carbon neutrality is creating unprecedented levels of corporate hype about climate action.

Photovoltaic panels in Gonghe County, Qinghai province, China.

Photovoltaic panels in Gonghe County, Qinghai province, China.

Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

If China chooses a phrase of the year for 2021,“carbon neutrality” has to be on the shortlist. 

Since Chinese president Xi Jinping announced the world’s largest emitter will reach net zero emissions by 2060, carbon neutrality has become one of the key phrases in every meeting and speech in the country, no matter whether it’s about the economy, finance, technology, or even culture and tourism. It shows a growing climate awareness in Chinese society, but at the same time it’s creating unprecedented levels of hype and greenwashing.